When you have found the house that meets your wish list, you'll probably find yourself getting emotionally involved. You may imagine moving your furniture in, planting flowers, and envisioning your first holiday party, but try not to get too attached prematurely. There are a number of steps you must take before you have the keys in your hand. And you need to think clearly and objectively at this point so that the offer you make is a realistic one.
There are a number of factors that will affect the offer you make. Supply and demand, condition of the home, how long the house has been on the market, and your personal circumstances with regard to how soon you need to close on a home all come into play when framing your offer. You might also weigh in the demand for the home and how much you really want it. If you "low ball" some sellers will react with a counter offer, while others might dismiss your offer outright. In an active market, you're likely to lose out by making a low bid. If multiple bids are anticipated, it's advisable to go with your "best offer". Your real estate broker should advise you on ways to make your offer more attractive: for instance, a mortgage credit approval and flexibility on the closing/settlement date can help make your offer stand out and ultimately close the sale. Your real estate broker should help you think through all of these issues so you can determine what is the best offer for you to make at the time.